Book number 4: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
What It Is: There are two scenarios painted by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein: what it is like to be God and what it is like to be human. I’ve always thought Frankenstein is the name of the wretched monster but only after reading the book did I learn Frankenstein is the creator! Briefly, an intelligent lad, Frankenstein, unlocks the formula of life and learns how to create a monster. Well, if you’re using dead body parts to come up with an animated being then you can’t hope for a lot, can you? Gentle in nature but despised and isolated, the monster turns against his creator and what follows is a chase up to the end.
What I Liked About It: To me, Frankenstein is a tragedy more than a horror story. From the beginning up to the end, it is filled with struggles, both internal and external; the internal struggle is constant and tormenting and I appreciate that a lot.
Other elements remind me of the first RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie really, with the mix of science and sorcery, all the science, creation and all that. Marked with rich narration, beautiful imagery, compelling setting, and bright goth insights, Frankenstein is just the right amount of death for the living.
The romance is heartbreaking, but it is not exactly the one between lovers that moved me, but the love between Creation and Creator, or the serious lack thereof that led the monster to revenge. First, Frankenstein plays God and I love the ironic bit that the monster reflects what it is to be human, the good and the bad at that. Suck powerful emotions really that entertained me loads.
Throughout the story, I cannot help but relate to the suffering. Frankenstein’s struggles preys on his health, how he cannot share his grief and burden to anybody because it seems insane suffering is relatable; on the monster’s side, how misery made him a fiend – all struggles we all deal with daily.
The ultimate question of morality is also thrown in there: sacrifice your happiness and peace of mind for the rest of the world or be selfish about it? Fantastic. It can be cheesy in some instances to play with this concept but when you have a monster throughout your pages, then it’s just right.
What I Did Not Like About It: I did not buy the ending, the monster having a change of heart because his adversary has died. C’mon, if you choose to be the villain, you have to stick with it! Then again, the narrator, Watson, may be right in saying that the monster “laments only because the victim of your malignity is withdrawn from your power.” I also hate it that a lot of innocent suffered in the story, but necessary of course!
There is also an idea throughout the book where Frankenstein regrets aiming higher and wanting more because it led to trouble. To an extent, I’d like to disagree. Though it’s a case to case basis, there are times when there is a need for more and this is a good thing.